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These awards publicly acknowledge an individual tenant or a group of tenants who contribute positively to their community.

Entries for the 2018 Social Housing Volunteer Awards have now closed.

Frances Penington Award

The Frances Penington Award celebrates an individual public or community housing tenant, or a group of tenants, who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to their community.

The award honours the late Frances Penington who, as a Commissioner of the Housing Commission, was the first woman appointed to the board of a statutory authority in Victoria. She was also a strong advocate for women in housing estates and was active in building and supporting the tenant community and sparking community involvement.

Past Frances Pennington award winners


Ashburton, Ashwood and Chadstone Public Tenant Group

The Ashburton, Ashwood and Chadstone Public Tenant Group was established in 2005 to represent the needs of local public tenants.

This group of about 40 people meet monthly to discuss issues within the community.

They have advocated strongly for local tenants, organising forums and information sessions.

The group hosts a number of social events, including a popular annual Public and Proud celebration.

The group has used these social events, offering free food and entertainment, to bring the local community together and help people get to know each other.

Their efforts have created a real sense of pride within the Ashburton, Ashwood and Chadstone community.


Marlene McKay

Marlene has been a part of the Park Towers Housing Tenants Association for over 25 years. In that time she has been the group's Secretary and occasional Chair.

She is a long-standing advocate for the interests of the tenants on the Park Towers estate in South Melbourne.

Marlene has developed information in the languages spoken by the local tenants and trained and mentored many tenant volunteers.

She has also led the development and upgrade of the estate's community facility and motivates and organises community events.

In addition to her strong commitment to the tenants of Park Towers, Marlene has helped other tenant associations in the southern suburbs.

Marlene is held in high regard within the South Melbourne community.

2017-2013 Frances Pennington award winners .docx.

Molly Hadfield Award

The Molly Hadfield Award honours outstanding services to older tenants.

The award is named after the late Mary (Molly) Hadfield OAM, who was a dedicated advocate for public housing tenants. She was also a founding member of the Housing for the Aged Action Group, which formed in 1983.

Past Molly Hadfield award winners


Merri Outreach Support Service Food Bank volunteers

The Merri Outreach Support Service (MOSS) Food Bank volunteers are a group of around 15 older retired public housing residents of Barkly Street, Brunswick.

They put together between 80 and 100 food parcels for families and older people struggling with the cost of essential food and groceries. Parcels may include a range of items like fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, and even nappies and baby formula.

Each week, the volunteers pick up and put away food for the food bank, grade fruit and vegetables and organise and distribute the food parcels. They take suggestions and feedback on the items people need.

These hard working volunteers are supporting people in the local community and helping older residents stay independent in their homes.


Let's Get Together Group

The Let's Get Together Group was formed in 2003 when older community members saw the need for local activities and outings in Shepparton.

With initial funding from the Mental Illness Fellowship, the group has gone on to successfully raise funds and form financial partnerships with local businesses. The group has also expanded its activities and fundraising to regional towns.

It holds popular community barbecues every eight weeks. Up to 60 people attend, including residents from local aged care services.

The group, which won the 2014 Shepparton Volunteer Team Award, held its 100th barbecue in June 2016.

2017-2013 Molly Hadfield award winners .docx

More information

For more information about the awards: